“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness” (1 Timothy 4:7, NASB).
Tomorrow I will be turning fifty. As I approach the half-century mark, I get one of two responses — “Fifty, no way. I thought you were thirty-five,” or “Fifty? You are so young!” Age is all about perspective. Executive Coach Bobb Biehl and many others advise that people begin to feel “old” in their fifties. It is a time where one must pay even more attention to their health. The good news is that there are plenty of resources available for me to stay healthy in my fifties. The bad news is that it requires work. I just cannot read articles online alone. I have to follow through and discipline myself, whether it’s exercise, following a healthy diet, or regular health checkups. I found it interesting that I did not find a single article that addressed the state of one’s soul at age fifty. Perhaps it’s because many of us think that salvation is one-and-done. However, Dallas Willard asks, “Why is it that we look upon our salvation as a moment that began our religious life instead of the daily life we receive from God?” Whether you are in your twenties, thirties, forties, fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, or nineties (I did cover all the bases at The Well, right?), we need to receive from God on a daily basis. Spiritual discipline is what we need. Spiritual disciplines are “practices found in Scripture that promote spiritual growth among believers in the gospel of Jesus Christ. They are habits of devotion, habits of experiential Christianity that have been practiced by God’s people since biblical times” (Don Whitney). I am convinced of this even more these days as we are seeking God during this season of lent. Let us practice spiritual disciplines together as a community by challenging and encouraging one another.